Spoilers follow for Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 9, “Undo It.”
By the end of last week’s episode, Bulshar had officially risen. This week on Wynonna Earp, the crew is left figuring out how to handle a demon that is visibly in violation of like 14 fashion police statutes.
“Undo It” begins the way every episode of Wynonna Earp should (frankly) begin – Waverly and Nicole in the midst of their Wayhaught shenanigans. As happens with many of us, their moaning O-faces were a result of them struggling to pry Bulshar’s ring off Waverly’s finger. When the excess lube doesn’t help, Haught sets off to the Earp barn, where Wynonna and Vamp Doc pried some other non-demonic things off each other. The only caveat here, of course, being Bulshar having WynDoc under his evil dandelion remnant-spell we saw him use at the conclusion of last week’s episode.
Wynonna manages to snap out of the spell for a quick second with just enough time to knock out a number of rejected extras from Monty Python And The Holy Grail and refer to Bulshar as “Ballshaft.” Ballshaft realizes Wynonna will not go down without a fight (because she is Wynonna. Freaking. Earp.) so he decides on fulfilling the nightmare every human being dreads – enduring a Happy Groundhog Run Lola Death Day scenario where you constantly die and come back to life while a terrible Powerpoint presentation plays in the background. I know I’m not the only one who suffers from this dreadful thought.
After being poison darted, spiked in the eye and acid-ed (somehow), Wynonna refuses the advice Doc gives her which is to “stop and think” and “be methodical,” because planning ahead is for nerds. Bulshar ups the ante by placing Wynonna at the Homestead, where we learn Doc is slowly being buried alive as she moves around Fantasy Bulshar World. Wynonna encounters Bobo in the barn and explores the definition of insanity (doing the same thing multiple times expecting different results) by killing him over a thousand times, leading to Doc’s imminent burial. She takes a different approach for the 1,001st time and actually talks to the well-dressed revenant. She pleads for his help in the fight against Bulshar, but Bobo feels defeated and that terrifies me. Throughout Wynonna Earp, I truly felt like Bobo had the consistent upper hand during any instance involving danger, including those during his well days. If he believes Wynonna will give up fighting Bulshar’s reign… then what fate possibly remains for those left in Purgatory? They simultaneously stab each other and as a pool of blood grows below her, I’m left with a pang in my heart striving for some good to come for our Earp crew.
During Wynonna’s time in Bulsharland, Wayhaught heads to the Gardner estate, where we get a glimpse of our beloved Mercedes post-Face/Off op trying to break into the Gardner safe. The trio encounter creepy demon jeweller Derek, who threatens Mercedes and Haught if Waverly doesn’t give him the ring by any means necessary. What does that entail? Cutting that beautiful angelic finger clean off. What course of action does Waverly take? SHE BURNS THE GUY’S FREAKIN’ FACE OFF. From her Wonder Woman punch of last week and this week’s gradual mutant abilities shining, I cannot wait to see how Waverly’s powers progress. While I’m not certain whether they’re solely a result of the ring or Waverly’s own badass self, seeing her come to terms with her newfound abilities is a prospect I’m dying for more of. A team-up episode where an entire day is spent with Wynonna quipping, Waverly Falcon-punching and Haught shooting a truckload of revenant scum? Sign me up.
Jeremy and Wayhaught investigate the woods, where they find displays made by the Blair Witch during her exploration phase. They find Bobo’s body where he reveals Bulshar is indeed one with the trees. When Waverly pushes him against a tree, Bobo ponders whether she found her father’s ring or if the ring found her (while Earpers are all here wondering, “Wait, her *father’s* ring?!”). Wynonna ultimately rescues Doc from a lifetime of finding dirt in places it doesn’t belong. She uses Peacemaker to seemingly Infinity War Bulshar away and they walk through the “red Narnia door” Wynonna believes is the way out of this ride that never ends. When we return to the barn, we’re briefly led to believe the curse is over. However, we’re right back to square one of Bulsharland and all hope is lost forever. Bulshar needs Peacemaker in order to make his Paradise dream a reality and in his fantasy world, he can seemingly bring to fruition any of Wynonna’s fears. We all know nothing can truly faze the Earp heir with the exception of one minor vice – the unmitigated love she has for her core crew. Bulshar knows this and utilizes her fear of her loved ones enduring harm against her. You see, this is why I don’t have any friends.
JerWayhaught find WynDoc trapped in a Blair Witch project and manages to wake them up. While the jubilation sets in that they’re finally out, we learn Bulshar now has the key needed to enter Paradise in the form of Peacemaker. With the King of Cat Barf now in possession of Wyatt Earp’s gun, is all hope lost forever for the residents of Purgatory? Not necessarily. We cut to a fully-healed Mercedes Gardner as she removes her bandages and thanks everyone’s favourite “sweet little lesbian” Waverly Earp for curing her. Earlier in the episode, we got a glimpse of what Heaven most likely looks like as a place on Earth when Waverly gently caressed Mercedes’ demolished-looking face. Is Waverly Earp the key to defeating Bulshar? Are Niagara Falls oven mitts going to be all the rage this coming season? I guess all we can do is wait and see what else occurs during another day in Purgatory!
“Undo It” executes one of my personal favourite narrative devices commonly used in TV and film: the “Groundhog Day Loop.” Seeing how characters attempt to work their way around a nearly impossible scenario has always fascinated me, as I constantly place myself in their shoes and wonder what I would do if faced with this task. Spoiler alert: I’d probably just cry uncontrollably until the entity involved with placing me in this situation grew tired of my incessant wailing.
It’s certainly nothing new to say Melanie Scrofano is an absolute revelation in her role as Wynonna Earp, however certain episodes come about that make you realize just how phenomenal she is and what an absolute honour it is watching her work. When Wynonna’s growing frustration reaches its climax and she starts back at square one, it is unbelievably compelling just seeing the sense of dread wash over her face as she struggles to figure out her next move. I’ve made my Dominique Provost-Chalkley and Scrofano love widely known, so I am counting down the days until we see the Earp sisters rightly strike down upon those who dare trespass them.
My 3 Favourite W’s of the Episode
I would now like to turn your attention to my 3 Favourite W’s for this episode of Wynonna Earp. These consist of favourite Wynonna Insult, Wayhaught Moment and Waverly Expression – the three pillars of any Wynonna Earp episode.
Wynonna Insult: “Even for a million-year-old Hell monster you… look like cat barf.”
Wayhaught Moment: There are key quotes in media that have become synonymous with true love – “You had me at hello” / “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird” / “I wish I knew how to quit you.” I would like to formally announce my campaign to add the following Nicole Haught line to this list: “When we get that thing off… We get off.”
What did you think of “Undo It”? Let us know in the comments below.
Follow Ghezal Amiri on Twitter.
There Are No Fakes is a shocking journey into the world of art fraud
Some of the best documentaries of the past two decades involve hard left turns – films that begin in one direction but end in another due to events that unfolded during production. There Are No Fakes, directed by Jamie Kastner, joins that select company of documentary as its comedic opening slowly morphs into something much darker.
There Are No Fakes centers on the work of Norval Morrisseau, the Indigenous Canadian artist of the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation, sometimes referred to as the “Picasso of the North”. Morrisseau, who died in 2007, sought to remove forgeries of his art from the marketplace, establishing the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society in 2005.
After Kevin Hearn (of Barenaked Ladies fame) buys one of Morrisseau’s paintings, he starts to doubt its authenticity and discovers a bizarre feud consolidated around Morrisseau. It’s this conflict, and the dark secrets hidden beneath it, that form the backdrop of There Are No Fakes.
Kastner (The Secret Disco Revolution, Free Trade Is Killing My Mother), who was friends with Hearn in high school, learned through conversation about Hearn’s ongoing lawsuit surrounding the Morrisseau paintings. It became clear to Kastner that such a story would be perfect for his next project.
“It was almost unbelievable. There was so much crazy stuff in this story, I couldn’t quite believe it,” Kastner said. “I told him if I was going to proceed with it, though we were friends he would have no editorial control. As a journalist, I would be talking to both sides, and he agreed.
“I went off on my own doing my own kind of digging and research. Lo and behold, everything he told me and then some turned out to be the case.”
As the story unfolded and as Kastner continued to meet a succession of larger-than-life characters, he found himself shocked at what he uncovered. Bringing footage back to his editor provoked a similar reaction.
“He’d say, ‘Holy f***!’ Then I’d do another one, and he’s quite an even-keeled guy, and he’d say ‘holy f***,’” Kastner said. “So it was a series of ‘holy f***’ moments. I tried to recreate that experience for the audience.”
Documentaries can often unfold much as expected, with a known story dictating the outcome of the production. But given the fluid situation surrounding the events of There Are No Fakes, Kastner followed the story as it led him, knowing he had been handed an incredible gift.
“It’s definitely a privilege and a responsibility (to tell this story). You’re dealing with the legacy of one of our most important artists,” he said. “You wind up dealing with very serious issues of abuse of different kinds, so I felt a real responsibility.
“You have to handle it very carefully as a documentary filmmaker. It really is so unique and unusual and special and horrific and inspiring and a whole range of things that you don’t usually get in one film.”
There Are No Fakes made its world premiere at Hot Docs 2019, receiving highly positive reviews. Kastner said the film provided fascinating insight into the legacy of Morrisseau, touching on multiple problems still at play in Canada.
“It’s a very dramatic story. People can’t believe that they’re real people. They seem like characters out of some HBO series or something,” Kastner said. “I think it’s a very entertaining, edge of your seat, jaw-dropping type of story that happens to be a documentary.”
There Are No Fakes will screen at multiple locations throughout Canada in July 2019. For more information, click here.
Next to read on The Mutt: Tantoo Cardinal propels Falls Around Her in first leading role
Isabelle brings psychological terror to an idyllic neighbourhood
In a quaint New England neighbourhood, a charming young couple (Adam Brody and Amanda Crew) find the perfect home to move into. But what they find in that home complicates their dream to start a family, as darkness and paranoia emerges in director Rob Heydon’s Isabelle.
Following in the footsteps of other psychological horrors such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, Isabelle comes from a screenplay written by Donald Martin (Milton’s Secret). Having grown up watching genre films like The Omen and The Shining, Heydon approached the project looking to put his own stamp on psychological terror.
“Reading the script, I just got into it cold. Then once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down,” Heydon said. “I thought a lot about what other references it could be like and how I could help bring something to the story and the storytelling.”
Much like other films in the genre, Heydon’s intention for Isabelle was to emphasize the psychology of the terror as a priority. That meant slowly building up the characters and introducing new elements throughout the runtime of the film.
“In a sense, it’s trying to tell a story in three arcs and build the audience’s expectations up to the third act,” Heydon said. “We used the combination of cinematography and editing and music to bring the audience into the mind of the main character and have the audience experience what our main characters are going through.”
The strength of the cast – which includes Brody, Crew and Zoë Belkin as Isabelle – was essential given the nature of the material. Brody was the first to sign on, but other cast members took longer to materialize.
“Amanda Crew wasn’t available at the same time. So it took almost two years to put together the cast,” Heydon said. “But when their calendars lined up, we also got some amazing talent to surround them. Belkin, Sheila McCarthy, who played Isabelle’s mom… we were really lucky.”
Isabelle shot in Hamilton, Ont., with old Victorian homes posing as New England. Beyond the locale, Heydon said the cost savings attained shooting in Hamilton were significant.
“In Toronto, to rent a house for a day might be 10 or 15 thousand per day. In Hamilton, we were lucky to get three houses right next to each other for 20 days for $20,000,” he said. “You just can’t find that anywhere in Toronto.”
Having initially premiered in South Korea as part of the Busan Film Festival (along with fellow Canadian horror Lifechanger), Isabelle will now open to a larger release in Canada. Heydon said genre aficionados should find much to enjoy in Isabelle.
“I’d say read what the film’s about and check out the trailer – I think the trailer says it all. And if you’re interested, come check it out,” he said.
Isabelle begins its theatrical run in Toronto June 28 at the Carlton Cinema. For more information, click here.
Next up on The Mutt: Horror materializes in unconventional ways in Things Fall Apart
Horror materializes in unconventional ways in Things Fall Apart
Those familiar with Hussein Juma, director and writer of Things Fall Apart, know that it’s somewhat fruitless to attempt to fully summarize his work. That’s largely by design – Juma himself says he enjoys injecting ambiguity into his projects.
But more than that, what’s exciting about Juma as a director is his ability to create a sense of atmospheric dread based heavily on context and character and not cliché. So horror fans on the hunt for films that are likely to surprise should take note of what Juma says about his first feature, Things Fall Apart.
“If you like arthouse cinema, things that are going to challenge you and even scare you a little too, I think this film would be for you,” Juma says. “If you’re interested in new ways to tell stories, in indie cinema and the way it can reframe things and put them in different contexts, I think there’s a lot to think about with this film.”
That unique approach to story was evident throughout Juma’s 12-episode web series Horse Mask, a surreal horror that centres around a missing daughter, a forest and many mysterious masks. Though Things Fall Apart is Juma’s first feature, he says working on Horse Mask helped prepare him, given the fact that the runtime of that web series evens out to be around the length of a feature.
Set during a dinner party, Things Fall Apart lets audiences act as a sort of fly on the wall as tensions and emotions emerge.
“Things progressively get more tense between the characters. I think there’s a good balance — there are those moments where you’re going to feel uncomfortable, there are moments where you’re going to be scared, there are moments where you’re going to feel like, ‘What the hell is going on right now?’” Juma says.
Furthering his desire to tell a story in a fresh way, Juma says he employed improvised dialogue throughout Things Fall Apart, making up 80 per cent of the dialogue. Though actors were provided with full scripts, dialogue was written in beats that guided where conversations would go.
“When we finally selected our actors, we extensively rehearsed it multiple times. That was a really cool process,” Juma says. “I had a bare-bones, skeleton idea of where I wanted each conversation to go, but these actors got so into it and took it to interesting places. (Many times) I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s great. We have to keep that.’”
The cast, which includes Chengis Javeri (one of the leads in Horse Mask), Bobbi Goddard, Gina Lorene and more, was already familiar to Juma, giving him confidence that they would be able to pull off the improvised dialogue. Juma says surrounding himself with smart, funny people led to a number of happy accidents that made their way into the finished product.
Other times, Juma says he would play off what he knew about the actors themselves.
“If I could see even a sliver of tension between them in the real world or a sliver of something in a look that I see, I can kind of harness that in the film,” he says. “I think that worked really well in terms of when I wanted to play someone against another person. Because I worked with them before, I knew things I could whisper in their ear before a take to throw them off.”
Ultimately, Juma says he wanted to make a film that he would want to see himself. Based on his track record, it’s likely that horror fans looking for a surprising, experimental feature with strong character work will find it in Things Fall Apart.
Things Fall Apart plays June 2 at 2 p.m. at the Globe Cinema in Calgary. For more information, click here.
Next up on The Mutt: The story behind Uwe Boll, the so-called “worst filmmaker” ever